Waterfall wonder for South-East tourist attraction

An unusually heavy deluge of rain created a stunning waterfall at Mount Gambier’s Cave Gardens, with locals saying it’s rare to see such a dramatic spectacle. Watch the video.

Oct 07, 2022, updated Oct 07, 2022
Water cascades into Mount Gambier Cave Gardens. Pic: Limestone Coast Community News

Water cascades into Mount Gambier Cave Gardens. Pic: Limestone Coast Community News

While Mount Gambier residents are well used to seeing water flowing into the limestone sinkhole gardens in the city centre over winter, this was an event that drew more than its usual share of onlookers.

Videos and photographs drew strong reactions as they emerged on social media showing the Cave Gardens Reserve in its glory. The sinkhole site is where Mount Gambier was first established to take advantage of abundant fresh water in the 30-metre-deep cave.

“I have never, ever seen water flowing into the Cave Gardens like that, used to seeing a trickle, never, ever anything like that,” Misty Glenys said.

Mount Gambier resident Cheryl Cameron said the video followed a heavy afternoon shower, while Diana Lock said “I’ve never seen so much water in the cave”.

The Bay Road site in February was dual named by Mount Gambier Council as Thugi, the Bunganditj name meaning Bullfrogs. Visitors can watch from viewing platforms, including one perched dramatically over the sinkhole.

The Cave Gardens in dry weather. Photo: Thom Devereux/Wikimedia Commons

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The cave was initially used as a water source for the town and in 1870 the area became a reserve with gas lamps and seating gradually installed. The site is now a tourist attraction and venue for community events and picnics.

Mayor Lynette Martin said Mount Gambier received above-average rainfall in August but typical coverage in spring.

“Cave Garden/Thugi remains a must-visit destination year-round, and in winter, the waterfall into the sinkhole creates a wonderland. With Mount Gambier’s proximity to the border, we experienced a busy period with Victorian school holidays, the recent long weekend, and now, South Australian school holidays,” she said.

Adjacent to Cave Garden/Thugi, the City of Mount Gambier’s Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre has a light show that tells the Dreamtime stories of the Boandik Peoples and their connection to the Cave Garden/Thugi and the Blue Lake/Warwar.

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